Anyways-- no more whining. Last post, I admired and honored our local team, the Charlotte Hornets, for what I consider a groundbreaking year, with a record of 48-34, in a four-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, after vaulting into the playoff hunt with a seven-game winning streak in March, a loss to the Washington Wizards three days before the end of the regular season cost the Hornets, as they fell into a sixth seed in the playoffs and lost the opportunity for a home--court advantage. Overall, I think that Michael Jordan and the team should be encouraged, but knowing his competitive nature, I'm sure he's fired up to upgrade the Hornets for next year.
I just watched the seventh game of the Western Conference finals last night when Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder to get into the NBA Finals, where they will match up again against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Oftentimes, I'm not so much of a geographical fan as I am an emotional fan. Curry is from North Carolina, went to Davidson College, and is the son of a former Charlotte Hornet great, Dell Curry. But the reasons that I admire him and pull for the Warriors goes deeper than those facts. They play a different style than most other NBA teams. They take screens and the three--point shot to another level than has ever been achieved in NBA history. Curry set a record with over 400 three-pointers during the season, and he and his teammate Klay Thompson have continued this pattern in the playoffs. They recently set another record with 17 three's in one game. Curry's and Thompson's range is phenomenal-- I watched Steph warming up last night, and was literally amazed when seeing him nail three three's in a row from near half court.
You probably won't be surprised by my prediction in the Finals-- I pick the Warriors in six games. I'd like to say "four"-- but honestly, the Cavs are the most formidable opponent that Golden State will play this year, and both teams are playing great basketball. I give them a couple of games, but still feel that the Warriors will again take the title.
Just a few words in closing about the TNT basketball analysts who act as hosts for each NBA telecast. The crew of Ernie Williams, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O'Neal, and Charles Barkley have become a popular bunch among their peers and NBA fans. I can't help but find a similar thread of comparison between this group and the old Monday Night Football crew of Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell. In my way of thinking (which I'll admit isn't always correct or logical), I see the two groups' personalities lining up this way.
Ernie Williams (and Kenny Smith) = Frank Gifford
Shaquille O' Neal = Dandy Don Meredith
Sir Charles Barkley = Howard Cosell
While this comparison is meant in jest, let me further digress by saying that the one that led me to this analysis was Charles Barkley. He and his interplay with the rest of the TNT group so readily reminds me of Cosell and the MNF trio. While seeming to parlay a great knowledge of the game, he so often makes gaffs and wrong predictions, is so hard-headed and opinionated, and receives the brunt of most of the jokes, puns, and sarcastic jabs, it is difficult not to draw a parallel to the late great Cosell. I must say--- I love Sir Charles, but my favorite of the crew has to be "Kenny the Jet" Smith-- he always has keen insights to the game, and of course-- he is a former Tar Heel (see http://bobstarheels.blogspot.com).
10-7-- Over and out. (I just found out what 10-7 means last night. If you don't know-- well, you can Google it).
See You Soon (maybe!)